Marcell Coetzee back to lead Bulls against WP at Newlands
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CAPE TOWN – Loose forward Marcell Coetzee has thankfully recovered from Covid-19 and will lead the Bulls for the Currie Cup north-south derby against Western Province on Friday night.
The Springbok flank was initially named in the starting side for last Sunday’s 40-21 victory over the Lions at Loftus Versfeld, but was a late withdrawal after still feeling the effects of the coronavirus.
But he returns at just the right time for the Bulls, as a much more experienced Province side lie in wait at Newlands (7pm kickoff) – with the Cape Town Stadium in use for the second Test between the Springboks and British and Irish Lions on Saturday.
🚨 TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) July 29, 2021
Here is your team to do battle with DHL Western Province at Newlands tomorrow night 🔥
Comment below with a message of support for the boys 👇
More info, here: https://t.co/Qq4fNOSqub#TrueToTheBlue pic.twitter.com/TdNp503zcu
WP have brought in centre Juan de Jongh as the new captain, while Seabelo Senatla is back at right wing. Another familiar name is Deon Fourie, also a former skipper, who will play off the bench and ensure that the breakdown battle is a furious one – which is where Coetzee will be key to the Bulls’ hopes.
Coach Jake White has re-jigged his front row as well, with the regular trio of Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar and Mornay Smith reunited.
Bok loose forward Nizaam Carr returns to the bench after an injury niggle as well.
“The North versus South derby never fails to produce exciting, quality rugby. We expect nothing less this week in Cape Town,” White said on Thursday.
“We have had a good few days of training after our fixture on Sunday, where we have had time to work on a few critical areas of improvement as well as enhancing the aspects where we fared well.
“Western Province is a combative side that are also strong contenders for the title, so we will need to be at the top of our game on Friday night.”
15 David Kriel 14 Cornal Hendricks 13 Lionel Mapoe 12 Harold Vorster 11 Richard Kriel 10 Johan Goosen 9 Zak Burger 8 Elrigh Louw 7 Muller Uys 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain) 5 Ruan Nortje 4 Walt Steenkamp 3 Mornay Smith 2 Johan Grobbelaar 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Bench: 16 Schalk Erasmus 17 Lizo Gqoboka 18 Jacques van Rooyen 19 Janko Swanepoel 20 Nizaam Carr 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Chris Smith 23 Sibongile Novuka.